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“Spectacular!”
Review of Monta Rosa Hutte

Monta Rosa Hutte
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Zurich, Switzerland
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Spectacular!”
Reviewed 26 May 2014

....need to like hiking and it's good to go there with a guide... The view is spectacular..get up at 5 am, 5.30 am to see the sunrising the food is good... At ten p.m. everyone is asleep... Beds are fine..

Visited May 2014
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1 Thank Leinalein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Level 6 Contributor
144 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 336 helpful votes
“Perhaps the most spectacular hike near Zermatt”
Reviewed 14 July 2013

Please note that this review is about the hike from Rotenboden to the base of the cliffs below the Monta Rosa hut and not about the hut itself.

This hike is without doubt the most spectacular and unusual one which I have yet done in the area around Zermatt. It is also the most dangerous hike that I have done.

The hike starts at the Rotenboden station on the train line up to Gornergrat. Try to leave Zermatt on the train as early as you can, say 8am or so. By around 8.30am you will be leaving the train when it stops at Rotenboden. From here, the path towards the Monta Rosa hut is clear and well marked and runs parallel to the Gorner glacier. Basically you come off the train and turn left and walk in the same direction as the train when it climbs towards Gornergrat. Very quickly though the train and trainline will be out of view.

The first section of path, a good few miles, is a gravel path that runs steadily downhill along the side of the steep grass slopes of the valley. Far below you on your right is the Gorner glacier and across the valley is the long, snow and ice covered Breithorn ridge, and the mountains of Castor and Pollux. Increasingly far above you on your left is the train line climbing up towards Gornergrat. As you move along the path you can get the odd glimpse of the Gornergrat buildings.

On a sunny day the view along this path is amazing. Just a huge vista of ice, snow, mountain peaks and strange crevasses and blue pools in the glacier.

After a few miles on the gravel path you finally arrive at a rocky area. The path here starts to be marked by large tripod-type markers and small flag poles and so on. Here you reach the first main obstacle - a ladder about 60 feet high which you must climb down to reach the Gorner glacier. This ladder needs great care. It is not to be taken lightly.

Once at the bottom you cross a small bridge and you reach the edge of the huge expanse of the Gorner glacier. Here I put on my crampons and started to follow the tripod markers across the glacier. It takes a good couple of hours or so to cross the glacier. You need to exercise some care in a few areas due to crevasses. Some of the crevasses are tiny but some are quite big and deep enough to fall in. The most difficult and in some ways most interesting part of the hike is actually the rubble moraine in the centre of the glacier. What looks like a small pile of rubble from the path high above actually is a very substantial mass of boulders and crushed rock with protruding ice. You need to be very careful here to avoid a minor, but unpleasant fall. I fell over a couple of times on the uneven, jumbled surface.

Once across the moraine, there is another section of ice and then you finally reach the cliffs below the Monta Rosa hut. At this point I turned back, both because I was running short of time and because I did not like the look of the ladders on the cliffs up to the hut. Perhaps there is an alternative way up to the hut.

The Monta Rosa hut is a very modern, large and well-equipped hut. Food and drink, and of course accommodation, are available.

From the cliffs I simply retraced my steps all the way to Rotenboden.

This really is an amazing hike. It is unique in being (I believe) the only glacier that you can hike across safely without a guide, without ropes and even alone. This is due to the marked path. But do not take this hike lightly. Do call in to the Alpine Centre in Zermatt main street and check the conditions and get their advice. They do recommend crampons for this walk which can be hired, together with suitable boots, at a number of shops in Zermatt. Do be prepared for hot and very sunny conditions if doing this hike in summer and take some food and drink. Take some very good sunglasses.

Also, do buy Air Zermatt insurance. I got mine at International Pharmacy in the main high street in Zermatt. It is only 35 CHF and insures you against having to pay the full and very high cost of a helicopter rescue in the unlikely event that you take a bad tumble.

A demanding but very highly recommended hike.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
7 Thank KeenHiker97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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